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Sensorimotor Training Modulates Automatic Imitation of Visual Speech

Wu, Y; Evans, B; Adank, P; (2019) Sensorimotor Training Modulates Automatic Imitation of Visual Speech. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review , 26 pp. 1711-1718. 10.3758/s13423-019-01623-8. Green open access

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Abstract

Observation-execution links underlying automatic imitation processes are suggested to result from associative sensorimotor experience of performing and watching the same actions. Past research supporting the associative sequence learning (ASL) model has demonstrated that sensorimotor training modulates automatic imitation of perceptually transparent manual actions, but ASL has been criticized for not being able to account for opaque actions like orofacial movements that include visual speech. To investigate whether observation-execution links underlying opaque actions are flexible as has been demonstrated for transparent actions, we tested whether sensorimotor training modulated automatic imitation of visual speech. Automatic imitation was defined as a facilitation in response times for syllable articulation (ba or da) in the presence of a compatible visual speech distractor relative to the presence of an incompatible distractor. Participants received either mirror (say /ba/ when the speaker silently says /ba/ and likewise for /da/) or counter-mirror (say /da/ when the speaker silently says /ba/ and vice versa) training and automatic imitation was measured before and after training. Automatic imitation was enhanced following mirror training and reduced following counter-mirror training, suggesting that sensorimotor learning plays a critical role in linking speech perception and production and that the links between these two systems remain flexible in adulthood. Additionally, compared to manual movements, automatic imitation of speech was susceptible to mirror training, but relatively resilient to counter-mirror training. We propose that social factors and the multimodal nature of speech may account for the resilience to counter-mirror training of sensorimotor associations of speech actions

Type: Article
Title: Sensorimotor Training Modulates Automatic Imitation of Visual Speech
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3758/s13423-019-01623-8
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-019-01623-8
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: automatic imitation, speech perception, speech production, sensorimotor learning
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10073656
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